I was brought up not allowed to use the internet, watch TV, etc. However, I recently started a course which required the use of the internet. I try my best to only use it for the work required, but time and time again, I end up using it for other stuff. Though it’s not always haraam stuff that I use the internet for, it does waste time. Also, lots of times, I get caught up in watching YouTube videos and though I know it’s not right, I just seem unable to stop. No matter how many promises I make not to use it for anything other than course related work, in the end, I still do.
If Moulana could please advise on how to stop this as I am aware it’s wrong and want to stop, but no matter how much I try, I still get caught up in it.
Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barkaatuh
Respected Sister in Islam
We commend you on your concern and honesty in this matter, which is unfortunately taken very lightly by most people.
It is best for you to totally avoid using the internet unless you have a genuine need to do so. However, if this cannot be done, then take the following steps in order to bring incorrect use under control:
1. Instead of using the internet in a secluded place in the home, use it in a common place, where others may walk past and be able to see what you are doing. The fear of them seeing you misusing the internet will perhaps be a type of a deterrent.
2. Impose a “penalty” upon yourself for the wrong usage. For example, for every 5 minutes wrong usage, impose upon yourself to make 4 rakaats of nafl salaah and give R20 in sadaqah. This must be discharged within 24 hours. This is only effective if you strictly fulfill the penalty. Also, impose on yourself that when you use the internet wrongly, for at least 2 days thereafter you will not access the internet or use any of the devices, even if your course work is affected.
3. Before using the internet, imagine that the Angel of Death is before you and may snatch your soul at any moment. This, exactly, is our reality i.e. our souls can be taken at any moment. Ask yourself, “Would I like to pass away while looking at this?”
4. Even if you slip a hundred times, do not lose hope and become despondent. Instead, continuously repent by crying to Allah Ta‘ala, and renew your determination to abstain from this wrong. Always turn to Allah Ta‘ala in du‘aa and beg Him to help you, as nothing can be achieved without His assistance.
May Allah Ta‘ala make it easy for you to live a life in His total obedience, aameen.
Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama